data compression


  1. the act of compressing.
  2. the state of being compressed.
  3. the effect, result, or consequence of being compressed.
  4. (in internal-combustion engines) the reduction in volume and increase of pressure of the air or combustible mixture in the cylinder prior to ignition, produced by the motion of the piston toward the cylinder head after intake.
  5. Also called data compression. Computers. reduction of the storage space required for data by changing its format.


  1. Also called: compressure (kəmˈprɛʃə) the act of compressing or the condition of being compressed
  2. an increase in pressure of the charge in an engine or compressor obtained by reducing its volume

c.1400, from Middle French compression (14c.), from Latin compressionem (nominative compressio) “a pressing together,” noun of action from past participle stem of comprimere (see compress (v.)). Related: Compressional. Compressional wave is attested from 1887.


  1. condensation
  2. The state of being compressed.

  1. A force that tends to shorten or squeeze something, decreasing its volume.
  2. The degree to which a substance has decreased in size (in volume, length, or some other dimension) after being or while being subject to stress. See also strain.
  3. The re-encoding of data (usually the binary data used by computers) into a form that uses fewer bits of information than the original data. Compression is often used to speed the transmission of data such as text or visual images, or to minimize the memory resources needed to store such data.

A technique in information technology by which the same amount of data is transmitted by using a smaller number of bits; for example, by replacing a string of ten repeated digits with a command to repeat the digit ten times.

See data compression.

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